National Poetry Month 2015, Week 1

April 1
It’s foolish to start
on a day reserved for fools
poetry postponed

April 2
Continuous mist
and cloud-covered treetops
disuading our exploration dreams
but time here ticks away swiftly
so we journey out
sliding along slick-leaved paths
searching for what we’ve never seen

April 3
Searched
Sifted
dirt washed away
Sighted
Sorted
counted each element discovered
Soaked
Soiled
but mined contentment remains

April 4…
April 5…

lately

We got a substantial snowfall in the predawn hours of Wednesday. Granted, it is now March and winter is at its end, but we finally scored ourselves two “code red” days off from school.

The forecasters encouraged us with their reports of a big storm heading straight for the area. (and this time, they guaranteed, it would not to skip us like the other storms that failed to permeate the forcefield we seem to have against winter weather). Teachers hyped the anticipation further in school. So, Chi went to sleep with her jammies on backwards; she assured me this helps the snow come. Ya, as usual, slept in his underwear (leaving a trail of discarded clothing in the hall and on the staircase). They went to sleep hopeful.

Once they discovered that the white stuff actually arrived as promised, Ya and Chi couldn’t wait to get outside. They layered up – Chi finally able to use her snow boots for snow and Ya wearing a snow suit (he’ll likely never fit again) for the first time. Somehow, the collection of gloves from cold weather seasons-past turned out a mixture of brightly colored singles. {As always, I wonder where the matches went – – probably hanging out with solo socks somewhere in the ‘Triangle.}

The oldest and youngest remained indoors, preferring to keep warm and enjoying the unexpected legthening of their sleep quotients. I suppose they had the right idea, as it took nearly 20 minutes to bundle up, 10 minutes to enjoy the falling snow, and an hour to “thaw out.”

On day two, I thought for certain I’d get a chance to capture one of those ethereal snow shots of my beautiful Chi – her chocolate skin and ebony hair surrounded by the crisp white snowfall. Unfortunately, it was sleeting when we first ventured out and minutes later that precipitation turned to rain. Mother Nature has not been kind with her providings for the landscape this year. By Thursday (which somehow managed to become a second “snow” day despite the absence of it), the ground was wet but showed little trace of white. We dolled up anyway – practicing hair styles for her rise to middle school tweendom in the fall – and shot around.

I must say, it’s going to be different trying to keep her looking like a middle schooler without looking older than her ten years. A little lip gloss and carefully coiffed hair (no more twists and clips, I’m told, are cool) and suddenly my baby girl isn’t one. I need to slow her down, to let her be a kid.

She’s started a hat business, Twisted Knitwit, and sold a few of her designs to peers. She takes special color requests and is now learning designs more intricate than I’d have expected her to be interested in exploring. She even taught her cousins how to knit their own hats. I’m impressed. I’m proud of her.

The skeins of yarn have multiplied. The men-folk even ventured to the craft store with us to help pick out colors (making their own requests for hats, too). And Chi steals away to her room to knit whenever possible. She photographs her creations for uploading to the site her Uncle Tav is building. She knits on car rides here and there. Our little entrepreneur – 10 year old business owner.

It’s what’s been happening lately.

The first year: rock *PAPER* scissors

525,600 minutes in this journey as one.
This first year, they say, is the rockiest.
Expect some mud slides
as you trudge the hills of compromise on rainy days
(and there will be many).
Don’t go to bed angry, don’t sleep on frustration.
Throwing words like rocks is never the answer.
Hash out those problems.
Kiss. Make up.
Isn’t making up supposed to be the best?
If you must shout, shout “I love you!”
Carry scissors around with you.
Carve out time from busy schedules for romance.
Or, for chill time.
Or even just to breathe in synchronicity.
Cut out negativity.
(Ignore that ever-present urge to nag about the floor covered in discarded clothes
and other such annoyances).
Write love notes on receipts.
Leave slips of paper close by to jot appreciation.
Paper the walls with reminders of your affection.
Cover those rocks with transformed trees
declaring in scripted scrawl: “We made it through our first year.”
Here’s to a hundred more celebrated one minute at a time.
established 03.17.12

SHS: fall splendor


Orange or Pink
I’ll never tire of receiving little floral gifts from my kids. The oft-smelly weeds they thought were flowers are always my favorites, though I also love it when they give more purposely grown petal-perfect finds.

And while I’m sure the planter did not intend for us to pluck from his gardens, no one can deny how heartwarming the sentiment of giving something pretty to someone is – – especially without prompting and without obligation.

The only treasures I shy away from are those that have hidden guests inside them – tiny insects waiting to reveal themselves (often after I’ve set a flower behind my ear).

Faceless Portrait
pumpkin pick
Twenty-one four year olds, two teachers and five parents climbed out of the hay-filled wagon and marched excitedly into the pumpkin patch. Their feet caught on the running vines connecting the sinewy remains of orange splendor that had seen better days. Some struggled to stay upright, others fell as their feet were hopelessly entangled. Their eyes searched each rotund fruit, feet prodded the pumpkins to turn, and the hunt continued as time after time it became clear that bugs had been the first to find the prize. Yuck! Finally, one perfect pumpkin was found. Then another, then another. But the picking was sparse and the crowds of hunters grew larger. She claimed this beauty by darting around Ya, who pouted and whined, “I was supposed to get that one!” before moving away to pursue a larger find.

View from the Top
This just makes me happy… there’s no other explanation. Complete abandon, absolute joy, total freedom.

Cozy
This picture probably doesn’t scream “cozy” – there’s a bit of aggression in this moment, I suppose. And yet, I cherish what it shows about the bond my kids have developed.

I don’t know how much longer I’ll get to enjoy moments like this one between Ya and Chi. Growing up seems to hinder random acts (or attacts) of affection.

I hope they’ll always know there’s nothing wrong with hugging, or even the occassional kiss.

I still enjoy holding my mom’s hand when we go out shopping. Still savor the seconds of a hug from my father or brothers. And I welcome the timid goodnight pat on the back from my quickly maturing teenager who still isn’t quite certain how much is too much with this blended-family thing.

Stacked
The kernels are packed tightly together. The colors of fall reflect in each stacked cob. Maize sure is a fascinating plant.

Fall scavenging

It’s been forever since I’ve linked to any photo or writing group online! Despite the hiatus, I’m still out here, still shooting, still blogging. And I’m making a return to one of my favorite link-ups this week, Scavenger Hunt Sunday.
Faithfulness
Hubs and I had the opportunity to document the end of our friends’ pregnancy a few weeks ago. It’s quite the honor to be able to capture ‘Kea in the weeks before her Lili is born – before Ya’s womb-mate Jack meets his sister. She was absolutely stunning in her pictures, but some of my favorite from the day are of she and Mike trying (and failing) to pose together. These middle school sweethearts turned five-year veterans of marriage are a pretty good example of commitment and faithfulness.

Water Drops
My suburban boy and his city-raised brother milked a “cow” today. Well, it wasn’t really a cow, as much as it was a wooden statue in a bovine form. And the liquid wasn’t really milk, it was water that shot out from the swollen pink utter-things. Far more humane than hundreds of eager hands tugging at a real, live cow as they practice their skills as farm hands, right?

Then and Now
Three years, two days, and a million+ memories separate these two photos. Then, 2009, Ya was only a year old, was newly walking, believed everything edible, and mimicked words. He was still very much our “baby.” Now, 2012, Ya is four and is completely his own person. The only mimicking he does is in jest, he never really walks anywhere (he runs, jumps, bounds), he speaks his mind and is always thinking, and though he eats all the time, he’s more selective.

One Item from the Fall Bucket List: Go to a theme park or fair
We started at a Pumpkin Palooza. It was a little less than expected. So, we packed into the van and ventured to The Plains for a little maize fun. Armed with crayons and trivia, we set out to navigate through the corn maze “Witch Way Is Out.” I suppose hubs proved men navigate pretty well, because we didn’t have to cheat our way out like we did back in 2009 on our first effort.

There was quite a bit to do at the small attraction: pumpkin flinging, hay ride, obstacle course, slides, rolling tubes, petting zoo, and opportunity to select a pumpkin. We left fulfilled and tired.

Fingertips

We found five of the six podiums to complete our souvenir map rubbings… and I determined my daughter is in serious need of a manicure.

Scavenger Hunt Sunday: space & ‘scapes

Totally skipped last week’s hunt — so many things going on and so little motivation to make it happen. For shame my morose mood.


Landscape
old barn along our path
The Color Wheel: Complementary/Triadic Color (Exploring with a Camera prompt)
Kat‘s second installment of color talks about finding aesthetically pleasing combinations in our world. She shared the following three visuals:
I’ve been having a bit of fun enjoying the lush colors of the season and decided to share a few of my “natural” finds.
caterpillar

complementary


globe topiary bloom

triadic


triad variation


Black and White (Paper Heart Camera prompt)
door diva
An abandoned post office served as a great industrial backdrop for my little diva’s boot shoot. Yes, she insisted on documenting her first “real choice” in shoe-wardrobe. And yes, she really would’ve rather had the pair with the two and a half inch heel and the furry folded cuff. And yes, those are those dreaded leggings that she so despises but that were required should she wear a skirt like the one she picked out.

Oh, and just to prove that she does, sometimes, simply return to the kid of 8y9m she is most often when the camera is not focused on her, here’s baby girl simply being."Chi v:8y9m"
Foodcrab tray display
I probably should’ve ventured into the restaurant to capture this display… but it was late and dark and I really didn’t think the Maître d would’ve appreciated me intruding on dinner service just for a picture. I do sort of like the grainy quality of the image, though.
Blank Space
I admit that I have no idea what “blank space” is supposed to mean here… so I’m taking creative liberty.
space to rest I love the way my eyes rest in the dark spaces of the flower’s seeds and how it is a solitary, lonely bloom surrounded by empty space.
hornet's space
And this one? Well, wouldn’t you give him all the space he needs (before spraying him to oblivion with a long range poison, of course)?

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